‘Kindergarten Teacher’: Maggie Gyllenhaal & Director Sara Colangelo Talk The Horror Of “Starving A Vibrant Woman’s Mind”

The Playlist | 10/14/2018 | Jordan Ruimy
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Maggie Gyllenhaal is a Staten Island early-childhood educator lacking something meaningful in her life who starts obsessing over a gifted student, which leads to problems too good to reveal. Suffice to say, when you watch “The Kindergarten Teacher,” Sara Colangelo’s American remake of the similarly-titled Israeli drama, you are transported into what Gyllenhaal describe to me as the psyche of a “starving, vibrant woman’s mind.”

Colangelo, who stunned more than a few moviegoers with her 2014 feature directing debut “Little Accidents,” creates a film with its own unique identity, the fleshing out of a woman that desperately needs to find meaning in her life. However, the movie belongs to Gyllenhaal, in an awards-worthy performance, whom, along with Colangelo’s patient camera, keeps playing with our heads throughout the proceedings. The fact that she maintains a sort of sympathetic nature to her character makes this brilliant film all the more mysterious to the eyes.

Colangelo - Gyllenhaal - Film - Netflix - Friday

I spoke to Colangelo and Gyllenhaal about the film, which premiered on Netflix this past Friday.

Your film is a “remake” of the Israeli movie, and I’m emphasizing the quotations on remake because you’ve made a film that is really its own unique statement and can easily be seen in its own. What made you decide that this was the movie to make?

Colangelo - Israeli - Film - Nadav - Writer

Colangelo: I saw the Israeli film in early 2015, and I was floored by it. Nadav is an incredible writer, so I have to give him credit because it’s such a beautiful structure and it felt like such a Greek tragedy. There was something about it that felt so allegorical. You could take the story, the structure, and put it anywhere, and it could still hold up. I was very excited to take it and shift it, root it more from Lisa’s point of view. The kindergarten teacher in...
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